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Permanent impairment: OSHA cites foundry again after 4 years

In 2012, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspected the facilities of an Ohio foundry. Many safety violations were identified at that time. When the federal agency paid a follow-up visit to the company in January, inspectors found multiple instances in which the workers were still exposed to the same hazards, some of which can cause permanent impairment.

OSHA investigators found that the company allowed the lifting of loads exceeding the capacity of the lifting equipment. Furthermore, employees were using personal protective equipment that was damaged. To make matters worse, they were not required by the company to use PPE -- not even to protect their heads and faces. Moreover, machines lacked safeguards and lockout/tagout procedures were not reviewed intermittently to protect against accidental activation.

Other identified hazards included exposed electrical wires, open junction boxes and unsafe storage of chemicals. There was a lack of respiratory and noise protection, and workers were not trained in recognizing these hazards in order to protect themselves. The company also failed in monitoring the health of workers related to the noise and respiratory hazards to which they were exposed.

Employees who are continuously exposed to such a variety of safety hazards will likely always be anxious about suffering injuries and how that will affect their abilities to care for their families -- especially if injuries cause permanent impairment. They may find comfort in the knowledge that the Ohio workers' compensation insurance program provides financial assistance to cover medical expenses and lost income. Additional benefits may be awarded to workers whose injuries caused long-term or permanent disabilities.

Source: norwalkreflector.com, "Inspection finds Ohio foundry continues to expose workers to hazards", June 23, 2016

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